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  1. #1
    Road Dawg Baileyandkids's Avatar

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    Default Adolescent attitude change!?!?

    Hi everyone. I have a 22wk old GP who I rescued when he was 12 wks old. The previous owners claim to have gotten him from a breeder but I strongly think he may have been from a farm. My husband and I have always been Lab owners and when our lab passed away we were all devastated. I've researched Pyrs for years as they've always been so intriguing to me. I saw one walk by as a kid and remember to this day thinking how beautiful and majestic they are. So now I have Bailey.

    His previous owners had him crated for 12 - 13hrs a day right from 8weeeks old. I brought him to my Vet right away and he was concerned about how much muscle loss Bailey had. He was quite skinny and weak. We worked very hard at encouraging food and excercise. We worked our way up and now he is wonderfully fit and healthy. He has endless energy. In fact I exhaust myself trying to figure out ways to tire him out.

    We attend both private and group puppy obedience classes. I work from home so we work on our listening skills through out they day as well. I'm desperately trying to follow NILIF however it's proving challenging as I run a home daycare and can't shut myself out while the kids are home.

    I walk Bailey every morning at 530-630 and on the few mornings I can't I have a dog walker come take him on an hr hike in the woods by our house. He also gets a night time walk at 9. He loves our time together but if I change his routine he becomes grouchy. He will stand at the door and bark heavily. He works himself up so much that the bark becomes a growl. His ears go way back, tail high in the air and very sure of himself. I try to ignore him but he will carry on for hours if I do. I try to distract with a few fun activities but once he's in that mood there's no getting out of it till he's had his walk. He also acts like this everyweekend while we're camping.....we go almost every weekend so I thought he'd be used to it by now.

    Bailey is also famous for his tantrums...I've heard it called on here the Kill Mommy game. Random people stop to make sure I'm not being mauled by my giant puppy. He makes these awful noises and really do sound like one of us is going be torn to shreds. (Just to be clear though it's all from excess energy or play) I don't believe for one second that's it's aggression. The first time he had this tantrum I cried for hours thinking oh no what have I done. He's gonna tear us all apart. He's so powerful that only I can manage his moods. I'm exhausted and need advice.

    Just some facts....not neutered.... 60lbs 5.5months old and I have 2 kids both girls 1 is 13 and 1 is 3.5. He is very gentle with my 3.5 yr old but almost bullies my eldest. The oldest loves dogs and has no fear of any breed. She's 5' 10" but she doesn't have the upper body strength required for when he's in a mood. My youngest is the only one who feeds Bailey dinner. She feeds him by hand. He loves all people but has limited patience for other dogs.

  2. #2
    Road Dawg Baileyandkids's Avatar

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    I should also mention that he is not barking at anything outside. Baikey is barking at me. He also does that heavy bark/growl if he's on the other side of a baby gate and wants on my side.... sometimes he just can't be for safety reasons. The bark and overall noise doesn't bother me at all. I knew what I was getting into with a Pyr but it's the intent behind it I'm struggling with. He's having a tantrum because something isn't going his way. Does that make sense?

    He is crate trained but that took a long time because of his previous experience with the crate. It also doesn't help that when he was little he got his foot caught and it terrified him. He's at a point now where he doesn't hesitate when it's bed time or when he's tired of the kids but on the weekend when my husband is home, Bailey will have no part of his crate. At all....he will outright refuse. Lay flat on the ground and use all his weight so I can't move him.....he does the same when we have to go for a car ride. He actually enjoys the ride itself just not the getting I'm part. Sometimes I have to pick him up but we all know that won't last. Lol

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Sounds like he likely needs more exercise so that he doesn't have the abundant energy to engage in the Kill Mommy type antics.

    As for the barking issue, he may lack the skills to deal with frustration. He's barking to get his way, but when he doesn't, he basically works himself up. The refusal to get in the crate or out of the car might be stemming from the same cause.

    With what you described, NILIF is pretty important. It teaches a pup, in a positive way, to handle frustration tolerance and impulse control.

    Training classes are fine but that type of training is an one size fits all approach. Bailey's issues require you to do specific types of exercises with him to teach patience. Because you have children around your place constantly, if you are unsure of how to work with Bailey, it would be a really good idea to consult a professional behaviorist.

  4. #4
    Road Dawg Baileyandkids's Avatar

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    Thank you so much for the help. Another member has also suggested I consult with a behaviorist as well so I'm booking an apt with Dr. Landsberg. I absolutely agree Bailey's actions are caused from frustration.....and truthfully I'm fed up with trainers who say "there's no reason Bailey won't respond the way my border collie does" whether they try to use positive reinforcement or corrective methods he simply doesn't want to engage with them. And neither do I. In my area it's proving very challenging to find a trainer who has any or very little experience with Pyrs. I'm still on the hunt. Lol I'm excited to meet with Dr. Landsberg to see how this goes.

    Please don't get me wrong Bailey is an absolute Prince Charming.....when he wants to be lol. When I first brought him home he was reserved and made very little eye contact. Now he leans up against me and loves to watch me during our walks and play time. He gets so excited when my husband and daughter come home for the day. It's cute to watch. He has captured all of our hearts. Which is why I'm trying so hard to do right by him. Life is so much better then his previous owners showed him and I think he's starting to catch on.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Bailey is so lucky to have found you!

    I hope Dr. Landsberg is able to help you figure this out! My biggest regret with my two is that I didnít find our wonderful Behaviorist sooner. I hope Dr. Landsberg is as helpful for you as our Behaviorist has been for us!

    Sebastian, Chester, and I are sending lots of good energy to you, Bailey, and your family! Thank you for being such a wonderful (and educated) advocate for your sweet boy!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baileyandkids View Post
    truthfully I'm fed up with trainers who say "there's no reason Bailey won't respond the way my border collie does"
    Well, you can try, and try and try and try, and spend more time trying, but it is quite unlikely that Bailey will respond the way a border collie does... I did lots of trying myself. My two in my avatar pic earned multiple titles in obedience and agility. But no, they did not respond like border collies.

    The reason Bailey wouldn't engage them is because they were forcing him to perform. Pyrs aren't wired that way. The more you push, the more they push back. I mean, the trainers may be acting as if they are using positive reinforcement, but their attitude is pushy and probably tinged with increasing frustration. Bailey picks up on all that and it's not surprising he shuts down.

    A few months ago I was at Petsmart with my pup Ren and this young female trainer offered Ren a treat. She asked him to sit - which I had not bothered to teach him up to that point. So instead of sitting, he jumped to grab the treat. I told her he didn't know the command. Nevertheless, she became determined to make him sit for it. I said nothing because it was amusing as I knew she was setting herself up to fail. The more "determined" she got, i.e. irritated/frustrated, the more Ren jumped to get the treat. I knew that was going to happen because that was how Ren's aunt, Bijou reacted to pressure as well. Some pups like Bailey puts up and wall, others like Bijou, Ren and Sebastian go nutty crazy.

    It is not unusual for some pups to have to learn to deal with frustration and learn patience. Some pups are just more emotional and need to be taught the skill to control their emotions. That's all. My pup developed separation anxiety when he was 4 months old. I've spent the last 8 months working on that issue. He's made great progress and I am very proud of my little man. Part of working with Ren's SA is teaching him to control his emotions. So, I've walked that road myself

  7. #7
    Road Dawg Baileyandkids's Avatar

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    Bailey and I went to training last night and I explained everything to her and told her I'm not overly interested in obedience training with him at the moment. I want to work on trust and build up our relationship. I explained his recent behavior and that I felt I needed to help him work on patience and impulse control. I was expecting push back but I didn't get it. We spent our entire hour on the training hall floor petting Bailey doing sensory activities with him. He was a little frustrated in the beginning but by the end of the night I almost think he was asleep. After all the ither dogs had left Bailey and his buddy Face had a good run around the barn. They had a blast. Shes freaky fast and hes well.....uncoordinated. At one point he sat on her trying to slow her down. I almost peed myself.We're going to learn some more activities later in the week at our next session.

    Teaching Bailey impulse control is challenging for me because he doesn't have impulse control issues the way my other labs have in the past (probably because he's not a lab lol) he doesn't rush out of his crate, never the less I tell him to wait out of sheer habit, he doesn't rush to eat his food he sits and grazes on it. He doesn't rush out the front door so all the ways I would have taught my lab to "wait " don't apply to him. I'm excited to see what our trainer has to offer now that I've shifted her focus. I have to say I'm impressed.

  8. #8
    Road Dawg mikelg84's Avatar

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    My baby is 9 months old. When should I start worrying? LOL

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    My Kit has been pretty much the same at 10 months. She is a bit more energetic but still overly friendly. Ever since we started the water bottle, she stopped barking as much. She is pretty easy going and loves to play.

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelg84 View Post
    My baby is 9 months old. When should I start worrying? LOL
    LOL, if you have to ask about that, I think it means you and Pippa are doing just fine

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